After a massive weekend in the EPL, the European soccer action continues this week as the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 matchups get underway!
There are some monster matchups taking place on Wednesday and Thursday morning, headlined by a huge clash between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid at Anfield. As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the action below!
Parc de Princes, Thursday 11th 7am
Borussia Dortmund are in a comfortable position in their Round of 16 mathcup against French giants Paris Saint Germain. In their first leg matchup a few weeks ago, Dortmund claimed a 2-1 win at home as striker Erling Haaland found the back of the net twice in the win. PSG star Neymar was gallant in defeat, scoring once for the French side and he’ll need to be big once again if PSG hope to advance to the quarter finals.
Dortmund currently sit in second place on the Bundesliga table with a 15-6-4 record through 25 games. They are just four points behind their rivals, Bayern Munich, and will likely have a lot of focus on a massive three week stretch that sees them play top teams in Schalke 04, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich in the next three games.
PSG are in a much more comfortable position in their domestic competition, currently holding a 12 point lead over their nearest rivals, maintaining a dominant 22-2-3 record and a ridiculous +51 goal difference, which is 37 goals better than the next best in the competition. Love the look of the French side to advance here. They have lost just 1 of 14 games at home in Ligue 1 this season and they will be fresh after having their Ligue 1 matchup with Strasbourg on the weekend postponed.
Anfield, Thursday 11th 7am
Liverpool have been one of the most dominant teams in the world throughout the season so far but have fallen away a bit over the past few weeks. They suffered their first loss of the season when they went down to Atletico Madrid in their Round of 16 first leg matchup. They then went on to lose for the first time in the Premier League, going down to Watford 3-0 before being bounced from the FA Cup with a 2-0 loss to Chelsea.
They are in a tough position of being down 1-0 in the matchup against Atletico here, who are one of the best, if not the best defensive sides in the world. In one of the most free-flowing leagues in the world, the La Liga, Atletico have allowed just 21 goals through 27 games this season, raking up a 11-12-4 record and sitting in 5th place.
Through seven Champions League games this year, Atletico have allowed just five goals and have kept a clean sheet on four occasions. With a 1-0 lead, there is no doubt that they’ll be going into this game with an incredibly defensive mindset, which will no doubt make it tough for the Reds to find the back of the net. If Madrid score once here, they likely advance to the next round.
Etihad Stadium, Wednesday 18th 7am
After trailing 1-0 early in the second half, Manchester City bounced back to claim a 2-1 win on the road against Real Madrid in the first leg. They’ll be back at the Etihad for the second matchup, where just a draw or even a 1-0 loss will see them advance to the fifth straight season.
All of the Manchester City focus will be on the Champions League and FA Cup now that their hopes of winning the Premier League title have vanished. Expect them to come out firing at home, where they have a dominant 9-2-2 record in the Premier League this season.
Manchester City has never lost to Real Madrid at Etihad in the Champions League, and considering the visitors need to win by two goals or win and score three or more, it’s definitely an uphill battle. Real Madrid will be all out aggressive, particularly in the second half if they aren’t in a position to qualify. Expect there to be plenty of goals here.
Camp Nou, Thursday 19th 7am
Barcelona and Napoli played out the only draw in the first leg of the Round of 16 matches, meaning the winner of this game will advance to the quarter finals. Barcelona start as heavy favourites at home and can advance if they hold on for a 0-0 draw. A 1-1 draw will send the tie to extra time while any other scored draw will result in Napoli advancing.
Barcelona currently sit atop the La Liga with a 18-4-5 record through 27 games and have won seven of their last 10 games. Barcelona have never hosted Napoli in a competitive match, which is surprising given the prestige of both clubs within Europe, and the last team to win their first away game at Camp Nou was Rubin Kazan back in 2009.
Actually like the value of Napoli here. The Italian side already have the advantage of having kept Barcelona to just one goal in Napoli, so if they can score two at Camp Nou, there is a strong possibility of them advancing to the next round. The Napoli double chance or Napoli to advance both look like solid bets.
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